Sweet and Succulent
Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You
can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautÈ it. Dey's uh, shrimpkabobs,
shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried.
There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper
shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes,
shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.
- from the movie Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump's friend, Bubba, had it right when he said that
shrimp are the fruit of the sea. Bubba shrimped in Savannah, but
in real life, Hilton Head's own Benny Hudson's Seafood Market
has been catching and selling authentic, fresh Atlantic shrimp for
years. Customers return year after year, often with giant coolers
to load up before returning home.
Proprietor Tonya Hudson-DeSalve, whose family of shrimp
connoisseurs has shared these recipes with us, is fi ghting a tough
fi ght against foreign shrimpers. According to Hudson-DeSalve,
about 90% of shrimp consumed in the United States is from
overseas. "The imports have crept in," she says, and many local
shrimping companies have felt the heat. Of the detrimental impact
of consumer choices on small shrimping businesses, Hudson-
DeSalve explains that "it's not that people don't care, it's just that
people don't know."
But from a consumer's standpoint, supporting local shrimpers
"not only is a fi nancial issue, but it's also a health issue," Hudson-
DeSalve says. Foreign shrimp companies do not have safety and
health regulations like the United States has, and consequently,
foreign shrimp has seen an "epidemic of contamination," she says.
Although local shrimp costs more per pound, Hudson-DeSalve
explains that foreign versus local shrimp cannot be compared apples
to apples. It's worth the extra cost not just for health reasons, but
because the taste is very different; local shrimp are sweeter, whereas
foreign shrimp have a metallic taste and soft texture from the
preservatives. Instead, Hudson-DeSalve advises shoppers to look for
hard, shiny shells, found only among healthy shrimp.
The following recipes have been in the Hudson family for years,
and are now ours to try. Shrimp and grits is an insouciantly elegant
meal, and shrimp salad has been a Sunday brunch staple for years. For
pleasing a crowd, Lowcountry Boil is always a winner! Three diverse
but delicious dishes, and to quote Bubba, "that- that's about it."
Benny Hudson's Seafood
Southern Shrimp Salad
2 lbs. cleaned, deveined and cooked LOCAL shrimp
(you can purchased cooked shrimp at Benny Hudson's retail market)
2 tsp. Benny Hudson's Seafood/Shrimp Seasoning (can substitute
other seafood seasoning such as Old Bay)
3 stalks celery
1 small purple onion (optional)
1 tsp. mustard
3 Tbs. chopped sweet pickles (we like to chop our own to get bigger
pieces, but you can use regular pickle relish)
2 hard boiled eggs, mashed
1 Tbs. hot sauce (to taste)
To Cook Shrimp: Peel and devein shrimp-boil 6 cups of
water and add 2 tsp. of Benny Hudson's Seafood (BHS)
shrimp seasoning to boiling water, then add shrimp. Cook
for 2-3 minutes - no more - 'til shrimp turns from opaque
to pink. Drain off water thru colander and toss shrimp
in ice, until they are cool to the touch. Cut into desired
size pieces and set aside. In a large bowl combine all other
ingredients, except mayo and blend together. Add mayo -
I recommend Ω cup, but this is strictly personal taste-we
have a running argument in our family that Ω cup is too
much or not enough, depending on who you ask! Chill for
a minimum of one hour before serving.
Benny Hudson's Seafood
Shrimp and Grits
2 tsp. butter 2 lbs. medium shrimp
1 med onion 2 Tbs. butter
1 clove garlic 2 cups chicken stock
1lb. andouille sausage 1 tsp. gravy master
Place a large deep pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp.
butter and melt. Add onion and garlic, sautÈ for 2 minutes
or until softened. Remove onion and garlic from pan, turn
temperature up to medium-high and add chopped sausage.
Cook until sausage is lightly browned, approx. 3 minutes.
Add 2 tsp. butter and shrimp. Cook sausage and shrimp
thru, approx. 3 minutes. Turn heat back down to medium
and add softened onion and garlic back to sausage and
shrimp pan. Sprinkle fl ower evenly over top of mixture,
then slowly add chicken stock, stirring constantly until
desired consistency is achieved. Lastly, add gravy master
and mix thoroughly.
*Remember, consistency of gravy can be manipulated
by the addition of more fl our or broth.
æ c grits 3 c chicken stock
Ω c heavy cream or 2 Tbs. butter
half and half white ground pepper (optional)
Bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil over medium-high
heat. Slowly stir in grits, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer
for 35 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Add butter and
cream and cook for additional 10 minutes or until desired
consistency is reached. Season with salt and white pepper to
taste. *Remember, consistency of grits can be manipulated
by the addition of more grits, cream or broth.
Benny Hudson's Lowcountry Boil
5 quarts water
2 lbs. small red potatoes
4 Tbs. BHS shrimp and crab seasoning
2 lbs andouille sausage, cut into Ω inch pieces (can substitute kielbasa or smoked sausage)
6 ears of corn, halved
4 lbs. fresh, LOCAL shrimp - head-off, in shell
In a large stockpot, bring water and seasoning to a boil. Add potatoes and sausage and cook for 15 minutes. Add corn and cook for an additional 10 min. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 min. Drain pot and pour contents onto a table covered with newspaper. Enjoy with fresh lemon wedges and BHS homemade cocktail sauce!
Interesting LOCAL folklore:
The Hudson family has been
enjoying this recipe for several
generations. Benny Hudson
built a 'boil' pot from a 4-foot
diameter stainless steel bowl
he found from a kitchen on a
naval ship. The family is able
to cook a Lowcountry Boil
with over 100 pounds
of shrimp at a time!